World tour of Buddhist relics comes to Harare

Ours is a diverse society, comprising people of many ethnic origins who hold many different beliefs, practise varied religions, and follow spiritual paths they have either grown up with, or have taken up as adults.

Whatever our beliefs, we all wish for some peace of mind on a day-to-day basis. Christianity is widely practised in Zimbabwe, but there are many religions and spiritual paths followed by people across all segments of society.

Buddhists practise the discipline of meditation, say prayers, sing chants and strive to put into daily practise, loving-kindness, which is a concept central to their beliefs and spiritual path.

Buddhists believe that this practice leads to peace — inner peace, peace within the family, society, nation and in the world. Buddhism is a particularly tolerant spiritual path which is followed in many parts of the world and embraces other religions and belief systems lovingly.

Religious tolerance — and tolerance generally — is a fundamental value at the heart of a healthy, peaceful society. This month, an unusual happening takes place at the Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Harare.

Whether or not you practise Bhuddism — or indeed, any particular religion — this is an interesting event worth experiencing with an open mind. Many interesting happenings take place in Zimbabwe and this is one of those rather unusual opportunities worth seizing.

There is a thriving Tibetan Buddhist community here. Its members have taken the opportunity to invite the World Tour of Buddhist Relics organised by the Maitreya Project to visit Harare. Loving-kindness translates as maitri in Sanskrit, and the Maitreya Buddha is the embodiment of it.

The belief that visiting and being in the presence of holy relics will bless, help and enlighten us is not unique to Buddhism and is also seen in other religions and spiritual paths.

These relics are of the original Bhudda and many other spiritual masters, and are beautiful bead and pearl-shaped objects and crystals found amongst the ashes of these spiritually enlightened individuals.

They are seen as physical evidence that the teacher attained the spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom.

The purpose of taking these on tour of countries across the globe is to enhance peace and understanding across all faiths.

The desire for peace in the world and for peace of mind at an individual level, is a value shared by all religions and spiritual paths and something we all desire.

The idea of the tour is to bring people together to experience an inter-faith celebration focused on shared human qualities that lead to a more peaceful world — love, compassion, tolerance, living a good life and doing no harm.

The relics tour is non-denominational and has been experienced and enjoyed by people of all walks of life and every belief system all over the world, who report being moved, calmed, uplifted and inspired.

These relics are on display from today up to Sunday at 7A Ernies Lane, off Lyndhurst Road, in Monavale, Harare. The opening ceremony takes place at 5.30pm today.

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